Microcredentials

The world is changing at a blistering pace. With advances in technology, communication, culture, and innovation, new organizational needs - indeed new industries - arise almost overnight. While core degree programs provide a solid foundation, in our fast-paced world, new educational needs and opportunities emerge quickly.

At Miami University, the microcredential initiative has been created as an opportunity to meet these emerging educational needs. The plan, jointly proposed by eLearning Miami and the Regionals E-Campus office, was selected as a Boldly Creative Initiative in 2019. 

What are microcredentials?

While there is no "set" format for what a microcredential can or should be, there are some common elements that typically define a microcredential. 

When it comes to microcredentials, think…

  • Specific or surgical credentials. While they may stack or lead to other macro-credentials, they should be sufficient in and of themselves to endorse someone with a credential in a specialized area or need.
  • Specialized needs. Microcredentials focus on specialized outcomes, skills, or experiences that make someone qualified to do a particular job. 
  • Duration or length can vary. There is no set or established timeframe. The best time frame for a microcredential is one that matches and efficiently meets the educational need and is of sufficient duration to communicate to the larger world that someone has acquired the outcome, skill, or experience
  • Developing with external partnership(s). Microcredentials are often best developed through external partnership(s). Microcredentials are typically nimble responses by educational organizations to serve the fast-paced and every-changing educational needs of the regional, state, national, and global needs we serve. Rather than a "build it and they will come," Field of Dreams approach, microcredentials are often best developed in conversation and partnership with one or more external entities, organizations, etc.
  • Informal or formal, credit or non-credit. Microcredentias do not have to follow a set format. They can be formal or informal, credit or non-credit. The goal is to utilize whatever structure or format that will best meet the educational need of the external partner.
  • Scope can vary. Microcredentials can vary in scope and focus on abstract or non-abstract needs. They can be surgical applications on broad, unmet needs (diversity & inclusive leadership, global leadership, etc.) or they can be surgical applications on a particular need or skillset (python coding, strategic digital marketing, ethical leadership, etc.)
  • Vary in delivery format. They can be online, in-person, hybrid, a series of meetings, etc. and/or any combination thereof--whatever sufficiently meets the educational need and provide someone with a genuine credential that communicates they can do a particular job or job function. Format should follow and adapt to what will best serve the external partners needs.

How do you develop a microcredential?

If you have an idea for a microcredential – or an external partner has communicated interest in developing a program with you – fill out the Microcredential Initial Interest FormMicrocredentials are a university-wide initiative. They often "partner" the university with external entities and, as such, must go through a common institutional process.

All microcredentials should be developed in partnership with the eLearning office. We have unique expertise in the design, development, delivery, and evaluation of microcredentials, as well as a wealth of experience in creating effective learning experiences regardless of modality.

As a partner in enhancing the Miami experience, our staff and expertise allow us to forge external partnerships, exploring market feasibility, and supporting the expansion and implementation of exciting, new, and innovative initiatives. 

Fill out the Microcredential Initial Interest Form